Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought

Richard B. Miller

Columbia University Press

Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought

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Pub Date: September 2010

ISBN: 9780231150996

240 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $26.00£19.00

Pub Date: September 2010

ISBN: 9780231150989

240 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£56.00

Pub Date: September 2010

ISBN: 9780231521864

240 Pages

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List Price: $25.99£19.00

Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought

Richard B. Miller

Columbia University Press

Religious violence may trigger feelings of repulsion and indignation, especially in a society that encourages toleration and respect, but rejection contradicts the principles of inclusion that define a democracy and its core moral values. How can we think ethically about religious violence and terrorism, especially in the wake of such atrocities as 9/11?

Known for his skillful interrogation of ethical issues as they pertain to religion, politics, and culture, Richard B. Miller returns to the basic tenets of liberalism to divine an ethical response to religious extremism. He questions how we should think about the claims and aspirations of political religions, especially when they conflict so deeply with liberal norms and practices, and he suggests how liberal critics can speak confidently in ways that respect cultural and religious difference.

Miller explores other concerns within these investigations as well, such as the protection of human rights and a liberal democratic commitment to multicultural politics. In relating religion and ethics, he develops a new lens for viewing political religions and their moral responsibilities. This probing inquiry also forces us to rethink our response to 9/11.

Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought is an outstanding work. Its discussion ranges widely and comfortably in diverse areas of scholarly inquiry┬Śreligion, politics, morality, political violence, and social criticism. The book is also courageous, neither apologetic nor ideological.

Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, Youngstown State University

Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought is a judicious application of the main values of the liberal tradition to a moral evaluation of and response to 9/11 and intercultural critique. Both are significantly informed by robust and nuanced understandings of respect for persons, toleration, and equality in a multicultural world, as well as human rights more generally.

Sumner Twiss, Florida State University

Terror, Religon, and Liberal Thought is a volume with plenty to consider, a key addition to any political science collection.

Midwest Book Review

Miller offers readers a brilliant exercise in liberal social criticism, which stands firmly at the crossroads of moral theory, political philosophy, and pragmatic cultural criticism...it stands heads above many recent works on religion, violence, and terrorism in its thoughtful application of the tools of social criticism.

Choice
Acknowledgments
1. The Problem of Religious Violence
2. 9/11 and Varieties of Social Criticism
3. Rights to Life and Security
4. Toleration, Equality, and the Burdens of Judgment
5. Respect and Recognition
6. Religion, Dialogue, and Human Rights
7. Liberal Social Criticism and the Ethics of Belief
Appendix 1: The Right to War and Self-Defense
Appendix 2: Is Attacking the Taliban and al Qaeda Justified?
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

Finalist--2011 Montaigne MedalChoice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

About the Author

Richard B. Miller is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and the author of Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought (Columbia, 2010).